Hauptmann

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Captain
Hauptmann
HD H 43 Hauptmann HAufkl.svg LD B 43 Hauptmann.svg
Army and Air Force insignia
Country  Germany
Service branch  German Army
 German Air Force
Abbreviation Hptm
NATO rank OF-2
Formation 19th century
Next higher rank Major
Next lower rank Oberleutnant
Equivalent ranks Kapitänleutnant (Navy)

Hauptmann is a German word usually translated as captain when it is used as an officer's rank in the German, Austrian, and Swiss armies. While Haupt in contemporary German means 'main', it also has and originally had the meaning of 'head', i.e. Hauptmann literally translates to 'head-man', which is also the etymological root of captain (from Latin caput, 'head'). It equates to the rank of captain in the British and US Armies, and is rated OF-2 in NATO. (For the German maritime counterpart to captain, see Kapitän.)

More generally, it can be used to denote the head of any hierarchically structured group of people, often as a compound word. For example, a Feuerwehrhauptmann is the captain of a fire brigade, while Räuberhauptmann refers to the leader of a gang of robbers.

Official Austrian and German titles incorporating the word include Landeshauptmann, Bezirkshauptmann, Burghauptmann, and Berghauptmann.

In Saxony during the Weimar Republic, the titles of Kreishauptmann, and Amtshauptmann were held by senior civil servants.

Hauptmann (from Early Modern High German Heubtmann) is cognate with the Swedish hövitsman, which also has the root meaning 'head-man' or 'the man at the head', and is closely related to hövding, meaning 'chieftain'. Since medieval times, both titles have been used for state administrators rather than military personnel. Heubtmann may also be the origin of the title hetman, used in Central and Eastern Europe.

Rank insignia

On the shoulder straps (Heer, Luftwaffe) there are three silver pips (stars).

Heer Luftwaffe
junior Rank
Oberleutnant
Bundeswehr Logo Heer with lettering.svg Bundeswehr Logo Luftwaffe with lettering.svg
German Bundeswehr officer rank
Hauptmann
senior Rank
Major
Stabshauptmann

See also

References

External links

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